14 May 2012 – Partnerships and development cooperation among countries will play a key role in accelerating sustainable development, a top United Nations official said today, stressing that assistance will need to focus on helping developing countries find longer-term solutions to eradicate poverty and transition into a green economy.
“If ongoing preparations for Rio+20 have resulted in any insights, a basic one is that development cooperation will play a key role in expediting implementation in sustainable development,” the Secretary-General of the UN Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20), Sha Zukang, told a conference in Brisbane, Australia, on the implications for development cooperation of the transition towards sustainable development.
The two-day Australia High-Level Symposium, ‘Shaping a Sustainable Future – Partners in Development Cooperation,’ which began today, seeks to facilitate an informal dialogue on development cooperation among high-level policymakers, multilateral and civil society organizations, philanthropic foundations and the private sector.
In his remarks at the conference opening, Mr. Sha stressed that in developing countries facing growing challenges in hunger, poverty and access to basic social services, among others, development cooperation must increase to improve their living conditions and provide not just immediate assistance but also long-term enabling requirements.
“If rooted in sustainable development, development cooperation will empower recipients, enable women entrepreneurs, and inspire our youth to date to dream for a better future – a future they want,” Mr. Sha said.
In a recent report, the UN High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability noted that with the world needing at least 50 per cent more food by the year 2030, as well as 45 per cent more energy and 30 per cent more water, development cooperation can play a vital role in helping poor countries build policies that address economic, social and environmental issues.
During the conference, participants will discuss the role of innovative finance and effective partnerships, with a particular focus on leveraging the private sector and the future for South-South cooperation.
The conference will serve as a preparation for the UN Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) at UN Headquarters in New York, on 5-6 July. The DCF brings various development cooperation actors together and promotes greater coherence among their activities. It is convened by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and its outcomes will also feed into the Rio+20 Conference next month in Brazil.